The inscription on this plaque is a list of 155 names. The matching design of this plaque, which we have called “Names Plaque Dated 1866”, indicates that it forms a pair with Donation Plaque Dated 1866.

LOCATION

Inverell Pioneer Village

Name plaque dated 1866 - Inverell Pioneer Village
Name plaque dated 1866 (IMG_6881, 16.4.21)

Because this “Names Plaque Dated 1866” likely forms a pair with Donation Plaque Dated 1866, the names on “Names Plaque Dated 1866” are therefore probably those of the “followers” and members of the “Yeung Fook Tong” society named in Donation Plaque Dated 1866’s inscription, who are given to have collectively donated one or more door-like screens and entrance adornments, including the Yeung Fook Tong” Entrance Adornment.

Both plaques are believed to have been purchased by Inverell Pioneer Village from an auction of temple items in Tingha in 1978. As Tingha was not established until 1872, the date of these plaques of 1866 indicates that they come from a Rocky River temple dated 1866, for which there are newspaper accounts of its opening in that year.

The first name on the first row on this “Names Plaque Dated 1866” — 福美昆記“Fook Mee Kwan Kee” —belongs to a firm, while the name 曾壽記“Tsang Shau Kee” (first name on the eighth row) could be a second firm name, or an example of a personal name formed through the amalgamation of the firm name “Shau Kee” with the surname of its proprietor. All the other names appear to unambiguously belong to natural persons.

Some of these names have been identified by the translator as being likely to be various persons with the same or similar names that are mentioned in newspapers. In these cases, the names are hyperlinked to a post about this person.

TEXT ON PLAQUE

The following is a list of the names on each row, with Cantonese romanisations.

First row (reading from right to left on row):

福美昆記 Fook Mee Kwan Kee

黎阿金 Lai Ah Kam

官三貴 Kwun Sam Kwai

郭阿福 Kwok Ah Fook

孫有發 Sun Yau Fat

許阿嬌 Hui Ah Kiu

謝義 Tse Yee

溫日雍 Wan Yat Yung

袁阿福 Yuen Ah Fook

高天壽 Ko Tin Shau

傅辛福 Foo San Fook

凌大南 Ling Tai Nam

梁培璋 Leung Pui Cheung

林義發 Lam Yee Fat

闕存學 Kuet Tsun Hok

Second row (reading from right to left on the row):

趙滙徒 Chiu Wui To

王秀 Wong Sau

徐帝福 Tsui Tai Fook

池阿三 Chee Ah Sam

羅廷璋 Law Ting Cheung

羅水保 Law Shui Po

余淮昌 Yu Wai Cheung

余阿清 Yu Ah Tsing

萬阿六 Man Ah Luk

萬炳姐 Man Ping Tse

韋常大 Wai Sheung Tai

韋佐邦 Wai Tso Pong

盧捷光 Lo Tsit Kwong

盧觀帝 Lo Kwun Tai

盧華昌 Lo Wah Cheung

Third row (reading from right to left on the row):

吳阿四 Ng Ah Sze

吳勝祥 Ng Shing Cheung

吳思和 Ng Sze Wo

吳阿傅 Ng Ah Foo

吳學祥 Ng Hok Cheung

劉阿二 Lau Ah Yee

劉阿炳 Lau Ah Ping

劉阿六 Lau Ah Luk

劉阿保 Lau Ah Po

劉火秀 Lau Fo Sau

江祿秀 Kong Luk Sau

江阿四 Kong Ah Sze

江阿伍 Kong Ah Ng

江池保 Kong Chee Po

江阿先 Kong Ah Sin

Fourth row (reading from right to left on the row):

蕭阿安 Siu Ah On 

蕭阿陳 Siu Ah Chan

廖兆新 Liu Shiu San

廖林壽 Liu Lam Shau

廖觀姐 Liu Kwun Tse

黃三貴 Wong Sam Kwai

黃長壽 Wong Cheung Shau

黃振欽 Wong Chun Yam

鄭景乾 Cheng King Kin

鄭蓉秀 Cheng Yung Sau

鄭運鴻 Cheng Wan Hung

鄭添益 Cheng Tim Yik

唐煌基 Tong Wong Kee

唐永忠 Tong Wing Chung

唐阿旺 Tong Ah Wong

Fifth row (reading from right to left on the row):

李道雲 Lee To Wan

李振欽 Lee Chun Yam

李繼先 Lee Kai Sin

李貴福 Lee Kwai Fook

李毓義 Lee Yuk Yee

李道益 Lee To Yik

李阿運 Lee Ah Wan

李帝福 Lee Tai Fook

李榮新 Lee Wing San

鄧鳳光 Tang Fung Kwong

鄧運安 Tang Wan On

鄧灶保 Tang Tso Po

鄧庚福 Tang Kang Fook

邱觀嬌 Yau Kwun Kiu

邱壬福 Yau Yam Fook

Sixth row (reading from right to left on the row):

邱阿福 Yau Ah Fook

邱木生 Yau Muk Shang

邱阿二 Yau Ah Yee

邱光寧 Yau Kwong Ning

邱華興 Yau Wah Hing

彭阿添 Pang Ah Tim

彭阿傅 Pang Ah Fu

彭立新 Pang Lap San

彭石陸 Pang Shek Luk

彭英魁 Pang Ying Fui

彭火嬌 Pang Fo Kiu

彭恒安 Pang Hang On

何東曉 Ho Tung Hiu

何阿英 Ho Ah Ying

何張姐 Ho Cheung Tse

Seventh row (reading from right to left on the row):

何興振 Ho Hing Chun

何國楊 Ho Kwok Yeung

何富常 Ho Foo Sheung

何元姐 Ho Yuen Tse

何振發 Ho Chun Fat

何阿炳 Ho Ah Ping

何阿二 Ho Ah Yee

何阿四 Ho Ah Sze

何興林 Ho Hing Lam

曾阿養 Tsang Ah Yeung

曾昌鴻 Tsang Cheung Hung

曾李保 Tsang Lee Po

曾觀連 Tsang Kwun Lin

曾阿二 Tsang Ah Yee

曾阿生 Tsang Ah Shang

Eighth row (reading from right to left on the row):

曾壽記 Tsang Shau Kee

曾三隆 Tsang Sam Lung

曾陳保 Tsang Chan Po

鍾茂勳 Chung Mau Fan

鍾阿秀 Chung Ah Sau

鍾阿養 Chung Ah Yeung

鍾連秀 Chung Lin Sau

鍾阿鳳 Chung Ah Fung

鍾廷坤 Chung Ting Kwan

鍾廷福 Chung Ting Fook

鍾廷康 Chung Ting Hong

鍾昌秀 Chung Cheung Sau

鍾阿二 Chung Ah Yee

鍾廷興 Chung Ting Hing

鍾阿伍 Chung Ah Ng

Ninth row (reading from right to left on the row):

張連運 Cheung Lin Wan

張寵榮 Cheung Chung Wing

張庚福 Cheung Kang Fook

張觀嬌 Cheung Kwun Kiu

張阿長 Cheung Ah Cheung

張阿四 Cheung Ah Sze

張五嬌 Cheung Ng Kiu

張銀貴 Cheung Ngan Kwai

張阿七 Cheung Ah Tsat

張洪貴 Cheung Hung Kwai

張阿運 Cheung Ah Wan

張鴻基 Cheung Hung Kee

張阿伍 Cheung Ah Ng

張新梅 Cheung San Mui

張棟宗 Cheung Tung Tsung;

Tenth row (reading from right to left on the row):

張元宗 Cheung Yuen Tsung

梁秀 Leung Sau

巫清成 Mo Tsing Shing

巫耀寬 Mo Yiu Foon

巫運姐Mo Wan Tse

巫阿義 Mo Ah Yee

巫纘福 Mo Tsan Fook

陳阿三 Chan Ah Sam

陳阿炳 Chan Ah Ping

陳勝婆 Chan Shing Po

陳阿水 Chan Ah Shui

陳阿勝 Chan Ah Shing

陳榮壽 Chan Wing Shau

陳兆新 Chan Shiu San

陳運欽 Chan Wan Yam

Eleventh row (reading from right to left on the row):

黃簡康 Wong Kan Hong 

陳華保 Chan Wah Po

陳欽遠 Chan Yam Yuen

陳百貴 Chan Pak Kwai

陳阿義 Chan Ah Yee

NOTES

The romanisations: The romanisations are given according to the heterogeneous system for standard Cantonese known as the Hong Kong Government Style, with a preference shown for spellings that reflect historical pronunciations, e.g. “美” is spelt “mee”, as opposed to “mei”; “記” and “基” are spelt “kee”, as opposed to “kei”; and “生” is spelt “shang”, as opposed to “sang”. Hong Kong Government Style romanisation is neither a very intuitive nor very accurate guide to Cantonese pronunciation, but being based on a combination of 19th century romanisation schemes, and having a long history of use itself, its spellings are apt to resemble ones that were used historically. Numerous variations on these romanisations are nevertheless possible; for example, in the Australian context at least, spellings that were more intuitive for English speakers were not infrequently favoured, e.g. “choy” as opposed to “choi”; “lye” 〃 to “lai”; “kum” 〃 “kam”; “hock” 〃 “hok”; “yick” 〃 “yik”; “look” 〃 “luk”; “ung” 〃 “ng”; “bow” 〃 “po”; and “sun” 〃 “san”. Further variations are possible depending on the dialect of Cantonese in question, e.g. a TS initial might be written as a CH; the syllable “sze” might be written as “see”; and the surname “Siu” might be written as “Sue”. And it goes without saying that radically divergent spellings might be used to represent the pronunciation of the same characters in different Chinese languages, of which Cantonese was only one of the several spoken by Chinese Australians in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

The 1866 Rocky River Petition: A Chinese-language petition from the Chinese miners of the Rocky River Goldfield, which is dated 18th April 1866 and calls for the reinstatement of Gold Commissioner Frederick Dalton, lists the names of 124 Chinese residents of 洛己[從口]李巴 “Rocky River”, 講解甲歷 “Congai Creek”, 雪梨付辣/雪梨虎辣 “Sydney Flat”, 洛己[從口]李巴爺利咏 “Rocky River Yaa-lee-ven” (English equivalent unknown), and 洛忌/洛己[從口] “Rocky”, this last place name possibly referring to a settlement rather than a mining site. A brief indication of each petitioner’s vocation follows his name and location. The vast majority of petitioners are given to be 做金 “in gold”, which would refer to such activities as gold mining, sluicing and fossicking; a few persons, however, have different vocations, such as the first two in the list, who are given to be 做生意 “in business” at 洛忌 “Rocky”, the third in the list, who is given to be a labourer, and an 阿保 “Ah Bow” of 洛己[從口] “Rocky” who is given to 打戒指 “be a fashioner of finger rings”. The translator compared the names of these petitioners against the names on the plaque, but found no matches.

Newspaper research on the names: Despite extensive electronic searches, only a handful of the names on the plaque could be identified in the early Chinese-language newspapers on the National Library of Australia’s Trove website. A selection of these results is presented below.

羅水保 “Law Shui Po”: The name 羅水保 “Law Shui Po” appears in two newspaper articles:

  • In a list of donors from the township of Mungindi, in connection with a donation of 12 shillings. The donations were made to the Chinese Republican cause, via the 洪順堂 “Hong Soon Tong” (a.k.a. Hung Mun, Yee Hing, Chinese Masonic Society). See page 6 of Sydney’s Chinese Republic News for 3 June 1916: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226555805
  • In a list of donors to the Chinese Republican cause, whose monies were collected by a Queenslander named 林東平 Lom Thung Ping. See page 7 Sydney’s Chinese Republic News for 23 November 1918: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226018003 While no location is specified for these donors, they are grouped separately in the article to donors from the Queensland town of Roma. Furthermore, it is known that in 1904 Lom Thung Ping advertised his quarter interest in an orchard and market garden at Goodooga (see http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247427864), and that he was in Goondiwindi in 1917 (see http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226018621). Lastly, the National Archives of Australia website shows an Alien Registration Certificate issued at Mungindi for a “Thung Ping” in December 1916 (NAA Item No. 6309730). (Note: it would appear that Lom Thung Ping was better known in English as William/Will/Willy Thung Ping.)

羅水保 “Law Shui Po” is not a common name, and it therefore seems likely that the man in the newspaper articles and the man named on the plaque are one and the same. It may be possible to establish his English name through comparison against the names of Chinese residents of the Mungindi area. Such a discovery might, in turn, shed light on the plaque and the story of the persons named on it. It may also be possible to do likewise with the names listed below.

李振欽 “Lee Chun Yam”: The name 李振欽 “Lee Chun Yam” appears in numerous newspaper articles:

  • In donation and subscription lists dating from 1905 to 1923, all of which give its bearer’s location as “Queensland” (see these six articles: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168942138 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168953643 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article246931718 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article246924845 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169077426 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article227662065).
  • In a letter that was published on page 2 of Sydney’s Tung Wah Times for 25 April 1908: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article246929375 The letter is framed as an address to the gentlemen of the Tung Wah Times from their fellows in the Queensland township of Tambo, and expresses fervent support for a boycott of Japanese goods and ships. “Lee Chun Yam” is named as the principal author, which suggests that he might have been a community leader.
  • In a letter that was published on page 6 of Sydney’s Tung Wah Times for 27 June 1908: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article246928018 The letter is framed as an address to the gentlemen of the Tung Wah Times from their fellows in the Queensland township of Tambo, and expresses fervent support for a fundraising drive to strengthen the Chinese navy, in the light of such “national humiliations” as the Japanese annexation of Formosa and the Pescadores. Tambo donors to the cause are listed, the first of whom is “Lee Chun Yam”, in connection with a donation of five pounds (the total collected was fifteen pounds). “Lee Chun Yam” is named as the sole author of the letter and custodian of the donations. Mention is made in the letter of the small number of Chinese residents in Tambo; the same observation is made in the following letter.
  • In a letter that was published on page 7 of Sydney’s Tung Wah Times for 26 April 1913: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article227976817 “Lee Chun Yam” is named in the letter as the most generous of a group of donors who responded to a request from the Secretary for Civil Affairs in Canton to support a charitable fund. His donation was for five pounds. The author of the letter is a local named 李庚秀 “Lee Kang Sau”. “Lee Kang Sau” features in another newspaper article, dated 1911, which concerns donations collected by him from Queensland towns—seemingly comprising Cunnamulla, Isisford, Springsure, Blackhall and Tambo—for a charitable organisation associated with the district of 新安 San On (a.k.a. Sun On): http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article227975799 This could be an indication that “Lee Chun Yam”, who shares the same surname, hailed from San On. San On once encompassed the entire area of Hong Kong and much of the modern-day 深圳市 City of Shenzhen. In the nineteenth century much of its territory was either ceded or leased to the British, thus forming Hong Kong. Some of Hong Kong’s residents continued, however, to refer to themselves as residents of San On. The article’s San On could therefore refer to the actual district of San On or to Hong Kong. Note also that the large area known as Hong Kong’s New Territories remained part of San On proper until it was leased to the British in 1898.

曾阿生 “Tsang Ah Shang”: The name 曾阿生 “Tsang Ah Shang” appears in newspaper lists, dated 1916 to 1920, of donors in Wangaratta who contributed monies to various causes through the Chinese Masonic Society (a.k.a. Chee Kung Tong) and its predecessor organisation the 洪順堂 “Hong Soon Tong”: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226552653 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article227018186 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225211461

彭添 “Pang Tim”: 彭添 “Pang Tim”, who could be the plaque’s 彭阿添 “Pang Ah Tim”, is named in donor lists dated 1915 and 1933 that relate to Cairns and Sydney donors respectively: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226555851 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225989017

何興振 “Ho Hing Chun”: The name 何興振 “Ho Hing Chun” appears in a 1905 list of Sydney donors who were supporting resistance of the restrictions imposed on Chinese people entering the United States of America: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247430643

劉火秀 “Lau Fo Sau”: The name 劉火秀 “Lau Fo Sau” appears in a 1918 list of legal and natural persons who made donations via the Rockhampton branch of the Chinese Nationalist Party: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226016450 It is conceivable that such details as his age and native place might be recorded on a membership file in the Chinese Nationalist Party archives.

盧華昌 “Lo Wah Cheung”: While the name 盧華昌 “Lo Wah Cheung” could not be found in the newspapers, a name that resembles it very closely, in all but the second character of the given name, does feature: 盧華岳 “Lo Wah Ngok”. This name belonged to a Thursday Island merchant who was known in English as George Nock. It is possible that he was related to the plaque’s “Lo Wah Cheung”, the surname suggesting membership of the same clan, and the common character in the given name possibly suggesting membership of the same generation within that clan. See the following: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247430643 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247430421 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226019179

蕭安 Sue On: 蕭安 Sue On, who could be the plaque’s 蕭阿安 “Siu Ah On”, would appear to have been a Brisbane merchant from 1900 till at least 1915: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article227919015 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226737492 However, this name is not uncommon, and might therefore have belonged to more than one Chinese Australian.

鍾養 “Chung Yeung”: The name 鍾養 “Chung Yeung”, who may be the plaque’s 鍾阿養 “Chung Ah Yeung”, appears in articles dated 1912 to 1922 that relate to Melbourne: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168678549 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168665540 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168670007 Other people of the surname “Chung” are named in these articles, but none is a match for any of the persons of this surname who are listed on the plaque.

陳兆新 “Chan Shiu San”: The name 陳兆新 “Chan Shiu San” appears in a 1904 list of Sydney donors, and a 1906 list of share subscribers: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169055854 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247430428 It is possible that a Glen Innes resident named 陳兆祺 “Chan Shiu Kee” was a relative of 陳兆新 “Chan Shiu San”. (See http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226732131 and http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article227018291, as well as a map in the possession of Mr. Harvey Young of Glen Innes, for references to this person.)

陳義 “Chan Yee”: 陳義 “Chan Yee”, who could be the plaque’s 陳阿義 “Chan Ah Yee”, is named in a number of articles, which date from 1915 to 1921: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article169062902 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226553262 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226019129 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225202659 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168669147 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225208381 Most of these articles place him in New South Wales, and the first, which does not specify a location, lists him alongside a 陳兆有 “Chan Shiu Yau”, whose name bears a distinct resemblance to the 陳兆新 “Chan Shiu San” who is the subject of the preceding note. However, “Chan Yee” is a common name, and could easily have belonged to more than one person.

黎阿金 “Lai Ah Kam”: 黎阿金 “Lai Ah Kam” could be a man known as 黎金泰 Lai Kum Tai, about whom Malcolm Oakes has spoken and written. He had business interests later in life in Coen, Cooktown and on Thursday Island, and is known to have hailed from Hong Kong’s New Territories, where he established a village. Lai Kum Tai was also known as Tommy Ah Kum, indicating that his given name was indeed shortened to “Ah Kum” (an alternative spelling of “Ah Kam”). Lai Kum Tai, however, is given to have been 60 years of age on a CEDT that was issued 24 September 1913 (Choy Flannigan, Chinese Whispers, p.126), suggesting that he could only have been about 13 at the time the plaque was instated. This does not altogether preclude the possibility of his being the person named on the plaque; indeed, the fact that “Lai Ah Kam” is listed second, immediately following the firm of 福美昆記 “Fook Mee Kwan Kee”, could indicate that he was the son or a younger relative of its proprietor.

This is a continually evolving website, and more information about this object will be published as further research is conducted.